Fallen tree narrowly misses homes in Escondido

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- An 80-foot eucalyptus tree came crashing down in an Escondido neighborhood early Friday morning, narrowly missing homes and cars, city officials said.

It happened around 7:00 a.m. on E. Third Avenue near S. Fig Street. The road was closed for nearly three hours while crews cleared away the trunk and branches. No one was injured, and a city fence was damaged by the fall.

A city street maintenance supervisor told FOX 5 that root rot is to blame, and the soil, saturated by heavy rain, eventually gave way.

A neighbor said the tree stood in front of a home that is currently vacant and being remodeled.

“It was an elderly tree and it was asymmetrical," Gracie Hinman said. "It had branches sticking way out in the side. It was not balanced.”

Tree service companies across San Diego County said they have been busy clearing away branches after yesterday's storm, and they expect to be busy again this weekend.

“Any time there’s a storm we get a plethora of calls that come in," said Clint Davis, an arborist with Emma Tree Service.

Davis said tree hazards can be prevented by inspecting your trees ahead of a storm. He recommends looking for broken branches that might be knocked down by wind and rain, mold, vertical cracks on the trunk, or exposed roots.

“Take the time once a week," Davis said. "Especially when you know we’re coming into storm season. Go inspect the trunk, look up in the canopy for anything that seems off or seems different than what you’ve seen in the past. It's best to have that inspected."

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